Building a Digitally Resilient Workforce:
Creating On-Ramps to Opportunity

Executive Summary

To unlock opportunity for all Americans and create an equitable recovery, we must support digital skills development for the 32 million Americans who cannot use a computer, and half of all Americans who are not comfortable learning online. Our inaugural report highlights the urgency—and imperative—of this work, and identifies opportunities to fill some of the most pressing gaps in access to technology and training and supports for digital upskilling. Together, we can help individuals build the digital resilience needed to thrive not only in today’s world of work—but also tomorrow’s.

 

Digital inequity exacerbates existing disparities and challenges response, reskilling, and recovery.

With technology transforming our workplaces and daily life, we are at a critical crossroads on our journey to build a resilient workforce and economic mobility for all Americans. Access remains a stubborn barrier to upskilling and reskilling. 20 million Americans don’t have access to broadband internet. 73% of service sector workers lack skills to solve problems in digital environments, and less than 10% can access opportunities to improve their digital literacy and other foundational skills. As we aim to build back better our economy, recovery efforts must prioritize closing persistent digital divides.

As leaders, we must take action immediately to create an equitable ecosystem to support digital skill development and digital learning for all so as to ensure a fair recovery.

Over the last year, the Digital US coalition has conducted a landscape scan of the biggest gaps in access to digital skills development for learner workers at risk of being left behind in our digital economy. It has also identified promising efforts to close these gaps that we need to align and support, as well as areas of need for new delivery models and innovation.

Together, Digital US Coalition members are leading efforts to:

Engage diverse stakeholders in building digital resilience, spurring investment and partnership from employers and others to drive increased access to technology and connectivity, development of essential digital skills, and digital equity
Innovate and scale new delivery models to improve access to supports for digital inclusion and technology training -- including through virtual and drop-in digital navigator services and infusing digital skills instruction into the delivery of all education and social services
Serve as a clearinghouse for evaluating and sharing effective practices and models to increase access and improve interventions, and to align disparate efforts for impact
Educate decision-makers on practices they can implement under existing policies to remove barriers to digital inclusion as well as policies that must change in order to develop a more equitable digital future for all of US

Building On-Ramps to Digital Resilience